Syria, 2012: Brothers Ahmad and Abed watch from their window as a child is shot and killed in the street. Their family flee to Lebanon, where the brothers attend a school for Syrian refugee children that Tearfund has been supporting.
The teachers find Ahmad and Abed aggressive and forgetful. ‘I knew something was wrong,’ says Miss Hala, a teacher at the school. ‘I told them they were very special to me. As a Christian, I try to be faithful in the smallest details.’
Ahmad started to open up. ‘During Arabic classes he’d ask to talk,’ says Miss Hala. Ahmad became more calm, and his school work improved. Now aged 13, Ahmad is a thoughtful child who wants to be an engineer to help rebuild his country.
His younger brother Abed took longer to respond. ‘While everyone was playing, Abed sat by himself,’ says Miss Hala. ‘I encouraged his mum, Zahraa, to give him love and attention. Day after day, as we both did this, Abed started getting better.’
Zahraa is delighted by the change in her son. ‘He was arguing with a friend and about to push him to the floor,’ says Pastor Wissam, who co-runs the school. ‘Then he remembered that Miss Hala encouraged them to care for each other and forgive people when they hurt you.’
Christ’s love expressed through the school has helped Ahmad and Abed overcome the trauma of the past and find hope for the future. Of his teachers Abed says, ‘I love them and they love me.’
- Praise God for the transformation in Ahmad and Abed’s lives and ask that they will continue to experience the love of Jesus expressed through the Christian school.
- Give thanks for the amazing hospitality of the Lebanese, which is being stretched to its limits as the tiny, fragile country is now hosting 1.7 million Syrian refugees.
- Pray for the fragile truce that has recently faltered after ten weeks, which the US and Russia are negotiating to reinstate.
Ahmad and Abed’s full story features in Tear Times, Tearfund’s magazine – the latest edition of which is out this week. You can subscribe for free.
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